20 December 2007
OK, so it's the festive season and once again I'm a little ba-humbug about it all. I tell myself that it's because we'll be away from home for Christmas (hence an absence of decorations here) and because we're intentionally revelling in the last quiet, laid back Christmas that we'll have for the next however-many years. I don't like to admit it but I'm probably also having a dose of my usual "it's my birthday and it's completely overshadowed" moochiness*.
Eschewing the handmade pledges that crafty blog-landers everywhere are embracing, our gift giving this year consists of charity donations and a few books for belated birthdays, but I did slip a little handmade something into my gift giving. A birthday treat for myself, if you will. One of Martha's beautiful volumetric scarves, in a light silk cotton mix. So beautiful, sculptural and simple. I love it.
And in a break with my all too regular tradition of not sending out any Christmas cards, last night I managed to tetris a card writing session into my evening (Charity cards, not handmade. Pragmatics overriding my creative preferences) and hopefully I'll jam in a trip to the post office today.
*Although I must send a very special thank you to blogland friends who somehow remember when my birthday is and send me kind wishes. Thank you. It really makes me feel quite special, coupled with a little guilty for not being capable of remembering yours.
17 December 2007
15 December 2007
Doing things in multiples does seem to be my current operating mode. Last weekend I made up this batch of bibs, which have been in high rotation this week as Baby C eagerly practices his eating skills (skills that seem to be developing at an alarming rate, with his first tooth joining in the action this morning!).
I realised that sewing bibs would be quicker than knitting more of these ones, and was inspired by the lovely bib that Fiona made for me. To make the bibs I traced a pattern off a bib I already had, adjusting the size a bit and experimenting with the placement of the snap closure (back or side- I like the easy access of the side fastening).
The back is off-white flanelette, with various cotton scraps pieced for the fronts. I used an uncharacteristically rough and ready method (uncharacteristic for me)- sewing together scraps into pieces roughly bib sized, then sewing the back on leaving an opening to turn it right side out. I then cut off the excess from the front fabric, trimming and clipping the seam allowance, and turning right side out. The edges are topstitched for a smart finish and to avoid needing to hand stitch the opening closed.
I had originally intended to be even more rough and ready, and to simply overlock around the edges, leaving the overlocking as an exposed edge finish, but luckily I remembered how much I hate trying to overlock curves- especially tight curves- before I started. These were really easy and quick to make, and I love the fact they can use up cute fabric scraps that are too small for much else. When C gets older I'm sure I'll whip up a few more in a larger size.
12 December 2007
Originally uploaded by tom_laws1987
I've refused kind requests to do this meme before, but I got inspired by reading Sooz's, and thought I'd share a bit of my musical side with you (some of which I'm sure I shared in a past meme, but never mind). So here goes:
- Link to your tagger (see above), and also post these rules on your blog.
- Share 7 random or weird facts about yourself on your blog.
- Tag 7 people at the end of your post by leaving their names as well as links to their blogs.
- Let them know they are TAGGED by leaving a comment on their blog.
1.I had piano lessons from the age of 5 to the age of 16. I stopped in my final year of school because there was just too much other stuff going on.
2.I played violin for one year, at the end of primary school. I found it really hard because I have long fingers and I had to concentrate to keep them squished up close together to play the notes.
3.I studied music though highschool. We had to play an orchestral instrument. I can still picture the day when we had to choose which instrument we were going to study. This tiny girl from final year showed us the double bass. And she said you needed long fingers to play (Lord knows why she had persisted with it). Coming off the back of my violin experience I obviously had to play the double bass. It was great fun. I finally gave it up after first year university because there was just too much other stuff going on, and because I felt I'd been borrowing the school instrument for long enough. Nearly 20 years on, I finally sold my old bass music on Ebay this year. (Some things are hard to let go).
4.I also sang in chior through highschool. But I can't stand the sound of my own voice and am completely incapable of singing solo. (Except to my Son. He's a very forgiving audience.)
5. I rang bells for a little while when I was in high school. As in big huge church bells where you stand in a room mid way up the church steeple with a bunch of other like minded folk and rythmically pull on ropes to ring the bells in the tower above. Ideally in a perfectly coordinated peal. It was great fun. But I'm not religious so always I felt a bit blasphemous for just enjoying the sound, mechanics, and mathematics of it. Once again, I gave it up because there was just too much other stuff going on.
6. I really don't have a great memory for music. There were very few things I could ever play without the music infront of me, and tell me the name of a song or piece and I'm pretty much incapable of recalling what it sounds like.
7. I still have the upright piano that I played through most of my childhood. It's currently residing at a friend's home but once we get the extension done it will return to take up residence in our dining room, where Baby C will be able to tinkle the ivories.
Hey, I'm all done playing tag. Tag yourself if you feel like it.
11 December 2007
1. breaking a couple of fridge shelves in the process of spring cleaning.
2. another bout of mastitis.
3. a very minor but none-the less exceedingly annoying car accident on the way home from the doctor to get a script for antibiotics for mastitis.
But on the upside, here are some good things:
1. increasing success with longer daytime baby naps (so I can DO MORE!)
2. naps occurring at regular times (so the day has some sense of structure and predictability, so I can PLAN to DO MORE)
3. we have two days per week of daycare starting early next year (so I'll be able to PLAN to DO EVEN MORE!!)
(Images from a baby board book that amused me at the library, although I'm sure C doesn't find it anywhere near as amusing as I do)
7 December 2007
Hence the creation of a couple of sleep toys for Baby C. Such was the urgent realisation that he needed a sleep buddy that I started without any real idea of what I was doing or how I was going to do it and just cut and sewed. The resulting cuddle toys (I made two the same) were concocted from scraps of the cotton muslin I used for his wraps, with a bit of polyfill stuffing for the feature deprived head. Although it does have ears. I'm not sure if the head will stand up to much chewing so I may need to do a quick remake with some other cotton fabric. Really the intention was for him to have something to chew and suck to sleep with, and much to my relief it seems to have gone down well with Baby C.
Something else that went down well with Baby C was his first taste of solids this week, so some hastily overlocked cotton flannel washers and bibs are interloping on the sewing queue, along with another Baby Sling for a friend who gave birth yesterday, after being induced a couple of weeks early. Thankfully it all went OK and they're all doing well.
When I quizzed my friend last week about her fabric preferences (greens and browns, no florals, yes checks) she turned to me a few minutes later and said "I guess that means I won't be getting a bunny?". Hmmm... should I shatter my project queue further?
3 December 2007
I've been considering whether to salvage the knotty prototype- I could insert a new piece into the back to replace the rip, and create a little bit of extra ease, but I'm not entirely confident that the fabric won't rip again. So it's been stuffed back into a box of sewing stuff to fester for a while, and I've gotten on with knot skirt #2. Today was pinning and cutting. Murky khaki fabric with Lycra. Wish me luck!
While the sewing bug bites (I've always been more of a sewer in the summer months for some reason) I feel the urge to apply the same philosophy to Baby C's wardrobe. That is, more of the same, with Lycra.
I'm loving this kimono top right now (pattern from this book, fabric from Cutting Edge) and think I'll have to make a few more with some of the other stretch cotton fabrics I bought for his wardrobe a while back. The pattern is really simple- cut in one piece, although I added shoulder seams to enable me to make it from a smaller piece of fabric.
The hat is from this book. It's made with a Lycra-less cotton knit, lined with the same fabric in brown, and with an elastic strap under the chin instead of the ties in the pattern (which sounded too fiddly for a baby). It doesn't have a brim all the way around, so I'm thinking of making another hat, but cutting crown pieces with an integral brim. He is somewhat of a boofhead so maybe I should use something with a bit of Lycra again...